Beyond Bravo

Can You Ever Truly Reinvent Yourself?

Can you really change everything or are you the same person underneath it all?

It was a break up that led Soo Jin to make a drastic change in her life … and her location. 

“I didn’t experience my first heartbreak until I was 31 with the guy who I thought was the one,” she says. “When that didn’t go over the way I thought it would—with me in a wedding dress and changing my last name—I fell into a really terrible depression.” 

Soo went to therapy where she realized, “I didn’t know who I was.”

The 36-year-old decided the only way to get her life back on track was to leave San Francisco, her hometown, for New York City, where she knew no one, professionally or personally. It was the perfect place to become a new person.

“Since I’ve moved, I’ve been able to do everything I wanted to do, but felt hindered back home,” Soo shares. “Being on my own finally gave me the platform to do it all.” 

That included launching her own blog, working as a tutor on a national TV series, and appearing on several TV shows. 

“Doors started opening and I met people I would have never met before,” the professional educator says. “I got better at what I do for a living and started to become a role model to other women who were going through what I did. I’m healthier and happier, and learned a relationship doesn’t define you.”

According to Dr. Judith Zackson, Ph.D., one of the reasons people make drastic changes in their lives is “because they have no choice; they feel like they are going to die emotionally,” whether that be due to a job, family or relationship, explains the Greenwich, CT. and New York City based clinical psychologist who specializes in personal growth.

Fran Greene (L.C.S.W.R), author of The Flirting Bible and relationship coach, concurs. 

“We reinvent ourselves when life throws us a curve ball or we are feeling plateaued,” she says. “The biggest challenge to reinvention is taking action and letting go of the fear that you will be a beginner and not the expert.”

Taking your life in a whole new direction may seem like your abandoning your personality, but Dr. Zackson argues that “you are actually the real you, the true self.” Personal reinvention is an insightful process where “the real inner essence is able to grow and blossom. Your personality doesn’t change – that’s who you were meant to be all along.” 

Just like Soo, she feels therapy can help a person during their change. 

“That’s the space where people become introspective, look within and ask what do I really want to be,” she says. 

How can you get started? 

“The best way to reinvent yourself is to learn as much as you can about what you want the next chapter in your life,” says Mr. Greene. Her simple, yet sensational guide is to: have a vision, make a plan, set goals, have deadlines, “Just Do It,” and reevaluate as you go.

“Reinvention lasts when you are committed to the changes you made and continually invested in them,” Ms. Greene declares. “You know your reinvention is a perfect fit when it feels as if this is the person you were always meant to be.”

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